business-card copy2With the recession still having a strong grip on the UK, it appears that it’s young people who are bearing the brunt of our economic difficulties. Over a million 18- to 24-year-olds are currently not in education, employment or training, and the ones that do want to get into university are fighting for places that they are not guaranteed to get.

Difficult times call for creative thinking and action, so maybe this is the perfect time to use your skills to start your own business or become an entrepreneur.

Here are some tips that will help you to get started:

Help and research for free at The British Library
Not sure about what your business could be, who your competition is, how to set up a business or get your company trademarked? The British Library Business and IP Centre at St Pancras, London, can help you start, run and grow your business. It provides the following services:

• Business and intellectual property information

• Workshops and events

• One-to-one advice

To use the information in the British Library Reading Room, you’ll need a free Reader Pass. You can get this by bringing two forms of ID to the centre. Make sure that one contains your signature as you will be peeved if you go there only to have to go home and get it. Their workshops and advice sessions do not require a pass, but must be booked in advance online.

The British Library
96 Euston Road,
NW1 2DB,

Tel: 020 7412 7454

Free website
Once you know what your business is, having a website if the perfect tool to promote your services. The ‘Getting British Business Online’ campaign has helped over 50,000 small businesses enjoy all these benefits, through offering you a free professional business website.

All you need to do is provide a few basic details about your business, such as your address and a quick description of what you do. Then the easy-to-use ‘website wizard’ does the rest. You don’t need any computer skills, it shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes, and it won’t cost you a penny.

Start your free website now! Visit

Free business cards
Business cards are often the first impression people get of you and your business. Leaving a business card with a potential client could be the difference between you bagging that job or not – so get some printed. You can design some for yourself in computer programmes like Photoshop or InDesign, or ask a graphic design student if they could do it for free. You can find even free templates online. Optimalprint and Moo cards are two online companies that offer free printing for samples – enough to get you started.